Japan's Toray Industries is planning to build a new commercial-scale carbonization facility at its plant in Jalisco, Mexico, which is run by its U.S. subsidiary Zoltek Corp.
The company announced Nov. 2 that it had developed a new variety of regular tow carbon fiber with “an outstanding” combination of cost and performance.
The new plant, which is being built to address the “strongly growing” demand for carbon fiber, is expected to start production by the end of 2018.
According to Toray the overall global carbon fiber market is expected to continue growing at a rate of above 10 percent annually, with industrial applications set “expand exponentially” with the use of the materials in electric and fuel cell vehicles.
Toray supplies ultra-high-performance carbon fibers to the aerospace and automotive industries.
The new product, Z600, said Toray, has physical properties that are in between large tow, which Zoltek currently produces, and regular tow, which has a track record in applications such as pressure vessels.